A woman who breast-feeds a child or one who takes care of another. Hebrew mothers usually nursed their own children (Gen 21:7; 1Sam 1:23; 1Kgs 3:21; 2Macc 2:27; cf. Song 8:1). Moses’s mother was hired to nurse her child (Exod 1:15-2:10; esp. Exod 2:7-9). Rebekah had a wet nurse, Deborah, who remained with her all her life (Gen 24:59; Gen 35:8). Distinguishable from the wet nurse is an attendant to whose care the child was entrusted. Such a nurse had charge of Mephibosheth, Saul’s five-year-old grandson (2Sam 4:4). Naomi became Obed’s nurse (Ruth 4:16). This role could also be filled by a man (2Kgs 10:1; 2Kgs 10:5; Esth 2:7; metaphorically of kings, Isa 49:23). The nurse became a symbol of nurture, care, and protection. Thus, Moses is spoken of as a nurse (Num 11:12), and Paul refers to himself as a nurse to the Thessalonians (1Thess 2:7).

Gen 21:7

7And she said, “Who would ever have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne him a son in his old age.”

1Sam 1:23

23Her husband Elkanah said to her, “Do what seems best to you, wait until you have weaned him; only—may the Lord establish his word.” So the woman remained and ... View more

1Kgs 3:21

21When I rose in the morning to nurse my son, I saw that he was dead; but when I looked at him closely in the morning, clearly it was not the son I had borne.”

2Macc 2:27

27just as it is not easy for one who prepares a banquet and seeks the benefit of others. Nevertheless, to secure the gratitude of many we will gladly endure the ... View more

Song 8:1

1O that you were like a brother to me,
who nursed at my mother's breast!
If I met you outside, I would kiss you,
and no one would despise me.

Exod 1:15-2:10

15The king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives, one of whom was named Shiphrah and the other Puah,16“When you act as midwives to the Hebrew women, and see them ... View more

Exod 2:7-9

7Then his sister said to Pharaoh's daughter, “Shall I go and get you a nurse from the Hebrew women to nurse the child for you?”8Pharaoh's daughter said to her, ... View more

Gen 24:59

59So they sent away their sister Rebekah and her nurse along with Abraham's servant and his men.

Gen 35:8

8And Deborah, Rebekah's nurse, died, and she was buried under an oak below Bethel. So it was called Allon-bacuth.

2Sam 4:4

4Saul's son Jonathan had a son who was crippled in his feet. He was five years old when the news about Saul and Jonathan came from Jezreel. His nurse picked him ... View more

Ruth 4:16

16Then Naomi took the child and laid him in her bosom, and became his nurse.

2Kgs 10:1

Massacre of Ahab's Descendants
1Now Ahab had seventy sons in Samaria. So Jehu wrote letters and sent them to Samaria, to the rulers of Jezreel, to the elders, a ... View more

2Kgs 10:5

5So the steward of the palace, and the governor of the city, along with the elders and the guardians, sent word to Jehu: “We are your servants; we will do anyth ... View more

Esth 2:7

7Mordecai had brought up Hadassah, that is Esther, his cousin, for she had neither father nor mother; the girl was fair and beautiful, and when her father and h ... View more

Isa 49:23

23Kings shall be your foster fathers,
and their queens your nursing mothers.
With their faces to the ground they shall bow down to you,
and lick the dust of you ... View more

Num 11:12

12Did I conceive all this people? Did I give birth to them, that you should say to me, ‘Carry them in your bosom, as a nurse carries a sucking child,’ to the la ... View more

1Thess 2:7

7though we might have made demands as apostles of Christ. But we were gentle among you, like a nurse tenderly caring for her own children.

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